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CMS to Begin Utilizing 2017 CDC Life Tables for WCMSAs

On March 23, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice that beginning on April 25, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Life Tables for 2017 will be utilized for calculating life expectancy in Workers’ Compensation Medicare Set Asides (WCMSAs). The 2017 Life Tables can be found here.

The Life Tables are used to calculate the life expectancy of an injured individual for purposes of allocating, over their lifetime, Medicare-covered items and services related to the work injury. Of note, a rated age is also typically utilized in calculating/adjusting the life expectancy.

A comparison between the 2016 and 2017 tables appears to be negligible with respect to life expectancies. An applicable portion of the abstract section in the 2017 Life Tables indicates:

In 2017, the overall expectation of life at birth was 78.6 years, decreasing from 78.7 in 2016. Between 2016 and 2017, life expectancy at birth decreased by 0.1 year for males (76.2 to 76.1) and did not change for females (81.1).

See National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 68, Number 7, United States Life Tables, 2017.

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